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How to Change the Brake Pads on a 2003 Honda Civic

by BretN

When your Civic starts to make a screeching, metal-on-metal sound when you brake, it is time to change your brake pads. Letting your pads go without changing them when they start to make noise can be very dangerous, both to you, your passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians. Changing brake pads can be a straightforward job, and if you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money on mechanic costs.

Turn the Civic off, and engage the emergency brake. Jack the front of the vehicle up with the floor jack, and place the jack stands under the chassis on both sides. Lower the car onto the jack stands. Place wheel blocks around the rear wheels.

Take off the lug nuts that hold the tire in place with the lug wrench. Remove the tire, and put it to the side. Use the 12-mm socket and the ratchet to remove the two bolts on the back of the caliper that hold it place. Pull the caliper off the rotor, and let it rest on top of the rotor. Do not let it hang from the brake line. Spray the rotors with the brake cleaner.

Remove the old brake pads from the caliper bracket that is still on the rotor with a slotted screwdriver. Place the screwdriver between the brake pad and the caliper, and pry it out; it should come out with only a little effort.

Place one of the old brake pads against the piston that is in the caliper. Position the C-clamp so that one side is on the brake pad and the other side is on the back of the caliper. Apply pressure to the piston with the C-clamp, and push it back into the caliper. Push the piston all the way into the caliper. Remove the C-clamp and the old brake pad.

Place the new brake pads in the caliper bracket where the old brake pads used to be. Place the caliper back over the caliper bracket, and secure it into place with the two 12-mm bolts on the back of the caliper. Replace the tire, and tighten the lug nuts.

Move to the other side of the vehicle, and perform the steps to replace the brake pads on that side. Raise the Civic up off of the jack stands and remove them. Lower the vehicle back down to the ground. Remove the wheel blocks.

Tip

  • You can use some brake grease to lubricate the backs of the brake pads before you put them into the caliper brackets. This is supposed to help with brake noise, but most people who change their brakes have seen little change when applying the brake grease as opposed to not applying the grease.

Warning

  • Never get under a vehicle that is jacked up without placing jack stands, or some other safety device, under the vehicle first. Make sure that the vehicle is completely safe before getting under it.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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